May 23, 2024

    What is the Difference Between Income Tax Filing and Returns?

    Income tax filing is the act of submitting your income tax return. “Income tax return filing” means offering an individual or business tax return.

    What is the Difference Between Income Tax Filing and Returns?

    Income tax e-filing is the process of reporting your income and paying taxes to the government. Tax filing is a step in this process, and it’s when you prepare your tax return, which details your income and deductions.

    You can file an early income tax filing with the IRS if you meet any of these conditions:

    • You have no dependents, deductions, or credits to report on your tax return and want a refund.
    • You cannot file your return by the April 15 due date because of circumstances beyond your control. This includes natural disasters, power outages, and other emergencies that prevent you from accessing computer access.

    The Difference Between Income Tax Filing and Return is Explained in This Article:

    Filing income tax is different from filing a return. In filing income tax, you must submit the details of your income and expenses (if any). While filing the return, you must submit the details of your payment and costs along with the tax paid (if any).

    Being filed by an individual or a business entity, an Income Tax Return (ITR) is required by law under the Income Tax Act 1961 through section 139A of that Act. This shall be filed in each financial year ending March 31 except where it has been extended by law and before June 30, adhering to prescribed deadlines set forth under section 139(5).

    Income Tax Filing:

    Filing your income tax return is submitting your tax return to the income tax department. Depending on your preferred method, you can do income tax e-filing or do income tax returns offline. Filing taxes is mandatory for all individuals and businesses, but if you have filed for an extension and plan on paying taxes in April 2020, then the filing is only required.

    If you choose to file online, specific steps need to be followed:

    • First, go to MyAccount (link) and log in using your username and password if applicable; otherwise, go here (link).
    • Click “File Income Tax Return” under “File Income Tax Returns” on this page. The next screen will ask whether or not you want to file using a TIN-linked PAN number (mandatory). Non-resident Indians who have been out of India for more than 182 days during FY19-20 and are eligible for CIT-20 format(optional)

    Income Tax Return Filing:

    Income tax return filing is the process of filing an income tax return. It can also be known as file ITR. The income tax returns are submitted to the revenue department, and taxes are paid on them. All the documents supporting your income tax return should be enclosed with them to make the process smooth and easy.

    There are different income tax returns like salaried or IT 10, self-employed or IT 11, and Professionals or IT 12. You can choose any one among them as per your convenience after consulting an expert in this field because if you choose wrongly, then there might be issues while filing your next year’s return as well, which can lead to penalties and interest payment

    The income tax returns are submitted with the help of E-Filing software. It is a process where you must fill in your details, financial information, and documents supporting it and submit it online. You can also do paper filing, which will take longer than e-filing.


    As mentioned clearly, there are a lot of differences between income tax filing and returns. It can be confusing to file your taxes in the beginning, but with this guide and some practice, it will be alright!


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